Google Blog: Coming together to create a prior art archive

Google Blog: Coming together to create a prior art archive. “A healthy patent system requires that patent applicants and examiners be able to find and access the best documentation of state-of-the-art technology. This documentation is often found in sources other than patents. Non-patent literature can be particularly hard to find and access in the software field, where it may take the form of user manuals, technical specifications, or product marketing materials. Without access to this information, patent offices may issue patents covering existing technology, or not recognize trivial extensions of published research, removing the public’s right to use it and bringing the reliability of patent rights into question. To address this problem, academia and industry have worked together to launch the Prior Art Archive, created through a collaboration between the MIT Media Lab, Cisco and the USPTO, and hosted by MIT. The Prior Art Archive is a new, open access system that allows anyone to upload those hard-to-find technical materials and make them easily searchable by everyone.”